Preparing Women for Ministry
God has a unique way of calling each of us into His service. Sometimes we settle in and build a nest forcing Him to make us uncomfortable enough to move into a new direction. Like Joseph, He occasionally places us in prickly circumstances to prove us and make us grow and teach us to live by faith.
At other times, He leads us through steps in our journey as he did King David, who fought a lion, then a bear before tackling Goliath. He was stepping up each time by facing what was in front of him and doing the right thing at the right time. Each step prepared him for the next one. He endured and became skilled at what the Lord had for him.
As women, we often know that God has called us to serve him, and we accepted the call, although occasionally somewhat reluctantly at first.
The ministry isn’t something that we fall into or happen to choose as a “career.” People sometimes stand around, waiting for the Lord to drop knowledge, ability, and skills down upon them so that they will suddenly be able to do God’s work. That rarely happens. God uses women in every occupation, but he expects us to prepare when opportunity knocks.
Paul said, “Study to show yourself approved…” (II Tim 2:15). If we intend to achieve God’s plan for our lives, we must first gain the wisdom and knowledge we need for a strong foundation. When God calls us into a new direction, he expects us to learn things we didn’t already know.
One of the most important things Jesus did was to train the Disciples. He spent three years ministering and training them, teaching them how to minister by daily walking with them and submerged himself into their lives. They lived with him and became friends who shared his hardships and as much of His burdens as they could understand. They took on His vision for the lost and gradually realized the truth of Jesus’ calling.
The ministry isn’t just the glorious, rewarding, self-fulfilling, exciting adventure that it appears to some people. It doesn’t make us “the boss” or the enforcer of God’s laws. In most cases, especially for women, it’s the opposite. Becoming a pastor doesn’t negate the requirement to submit to our husbands, or the leadership of those God has placed over us. We must still obey the principles of God’s Word.
We must understand the full commitment. Peter was committed to Jesus from the start. He started following Him because he thought that Jesus would take Israel back from the Romans. He wanted a physical kingdom.
Eventually, he realized the vision of the eternal purpose of the ministry. In time, Peter became the leader of the local church. The real purpose of the ministry became his heart’s desire. The truth was more important than his aspiration for the physical kingdom. To Peter, the eternal kingdom was much greater than the earthly one.
The disciples became Apostles only after Jesus called them out. The word “apostle” means “sent out.” They did not charge out on their own into a ministry. Jesus sent them out in agreement. In Acts (8:14), Peter and John were sent by the Apostles to Samaria. One may get excited and think that she is ready for the ministry ahead of her. However, only after we’ve traveled the road and met the many difficulties experienced in ministry, we can know what we need to make the trip and its successful completion. Many ministries failed or lack in success because of the lack of training and knowledge.
When God calls a woman to the ministry, whether it is in the pulpit, the classroom, or the kitchen, he expects her to be ready or at least strive to be prepared. Women have more choices today than we did a few decades ago. There are online courses available on the internet today. Many pastors will gladly disciple a woman who desires to serve God and the church. If you are serious about preparing for the ministry, ask another woman who has experience in the field you are called to if she will disciple you. Most mature women who serve God would be honored to help you.
The church is entering a new ministry phase as our nation turns more and more away from God. Persecution is on the rise, which will open new doors of ministry to people. People are hurting and need to hear from God as darkness closes in around us while we wait for the return of Christ. Whatever he has called you to do, do it with all your might, and he will give you what you need to get the job done.